Backed by a founder whose own love story reads like a Disney movie, Hinge is the dating app that aspires to be much more than a dating app. Rather, insists founder Justin McLeod, it’s a relationship app. And once you download and start using Hinge, he believes you’ll see just what he means. So, what is Hinge? It’s an app that claims to be decidedly different from the ever-increasing number of dating apps on the market. While apps like Tinder seem to encourage blind meetups and encounters that are basically one notch above random, Hinge works hard to curate matches for you that have a much better chance of being “the one.”
What makes Hinge different?
If you’ve spent any amount of time browsing dating apps lately, you’ve probably heard Hinge’s strange tagline, touting that it’s the dating app “Designed to be Deleted.” But what does that mean? In an interview with The Verge, Hinge’s Chief Product Officer Tim MacGougan said, “if you are not interested to actually find somebody, if you are wanting to stay on dating apps, then you’re going to quickly learn that Hinge is not the best app for you.”
Though the goal of all dating apps is the same—to find that special someone—testing the Hinge dating app revealed a number of key differences. Below are some features that help Hinge to stand out from its competitors.
- No more swiping right and left. Unlike the seemingly endless connection possibilities on Tinder-style platforms, which are based on nothing more than availability, the Hinge app involves more reflection and interaction with a potential match. The Instagram-like app encourages users to set up a profile that includes more information beyond a face and a name, and allows potential matches to like a certain aspect of someone’s profile, rather than just liking the entire profile.
- Matches aren’t (entirely) random. At its inception, Hinge functioned as an app that would match users only with available people in their Facebook network. Often, that meant they would be matched with friends of friends, or friends of friends’ friends. Today, this has changed, but the Hinge dating app still uses machine learning algorithms to curate matches based on similar interests and other compatibility measures it’s gleaned over the years.
- Your connections are limited. All this curation means there’s no more scrolling through an endless list of possible suitors. On Hinge, dating and relationships are the ultimate goal. As such, you can only send a certain number of messages each day, and you’re only given a certain number of potential matches each day as well. It’s all meant to encourage users to consider a match’s entire profile rather than just their pictures and only reach out if they truly think a valuable connection can be made.
These features seem pretty great, but user reviews are somewhat mixed when using the Hinge app for dating and relationships.
One user said:
So far I like it, it seems to be designed based on criticism of other apps. Likes take some minimal effort and I seem to be shown people who have something in common with me. - Ravi Suri
Another praised the features and interface:
Very easy to use. Good way to look at the profiles & pictures. They add their comments & you get to know the person a little to see if you’re interested in them. So far no scammers or game players which I have experienced on other dating apps. - Stacy
Others, however, feel like the Hinge app has some major limitations:
Meh, good effort to get rid of swipe left or right, but not really there yet. Everything is behind a pay wall. Have to respond to likes one at a time and can’t see the next person who liked you unless you pay. Setting distance filters is worthless. - Eric Lundgren
Only 10 likes per day. The same profiles keep popping up whether you already liked them or dismissed them. You can’t write a personalised introduction. Interesting concepts, but clearly the focus of the developers is to get your money rather than help you connect to other people. - Ben Desmedt
Getting started with the Hinge dating app
The Hinge app has been around since 2012, but was completely overhauled in 2017. Hinge was test-marketed in Washington, D.C., and then expanded to 8 other US cities, including Philadelphia and NYC. Today, Hinge operates globally, with users in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and India.
Ready to set up your own profile on the Hinge dating app? Here’s how:
Setting up a Hinge account
Step 1: Download the app.
Step 2: Sign up with your Facebook profile or your phone number.
Step 3: Fill out your profile, which will ask you to provide information for features like ethnicity, education level, even vices! You can choose whether to share this information, or to keep it private.
Step 4: Select 6 photos to share on your profile. Be sure to pick quality images that clearly display your face.
Step 5: Select three profile prompts. These will be fun questions that allow potential matches to learn more about you, like “The award I should be nominated for is,” or “Believe it or not, I…” Have fun with this and be sure to showcase your personality.
Step 6: You’re finished! Downloading and setting up a profile on the Hinge dating app is as simple as that.
How much does the Hinge app cost?
It’s free to sign up for the Hinge dating app, and to like profiles and receive potential matches. But if you want to see everything Hinge has under the hood, you’ll need to shell out the $9.99 monthly fee (also available for $19.99 for 3 months or $29.99 for 6 months). Doing so gets you access to a greater number of matches each day, and unlimited messaging. In addition, preferred membership allows you to use an added group of clever filters (religion, diet, risky behaviors, etc.) that can provide an even more personal experience.
Is Hinge safe?
By now, we’re all aware that using a dating app does come with some risks. Fortunately, there’s nothing about Hinge that makes it inherently more or less safe than other dating apps. In reality, online dating forces you to take safety into your own hands. The following guidelines should always be followed when meeting up with someone you’ve matched with on the Hinge dating app (or any other dating app, of course!):
- Always meet in a public place and stay there for the whole time.
- Be sure to let someone know where you’ll be and when to expect you home.
- Avoid telling or showing them where you live (or going to their place) until you’ve met enough times to be completely comfortable with them.
- Never share personal or financial information or agree to any request that seems strange (such as someone asking for money, asking for a ride somewhere, asking to hold your drink for you).
If you’re still unsure, remember that there are lots of different people search services that may help you you glean additional information about your upcoming date.
With all that in mind, if you’re looking for a dating app that gives you a better-than-average chance of finding your perfect match, it might be time to create a profile on the Hinge dating app.